Health Insurance

What is health insurance?

Private Medical Insurance (PMI) in the UK provides access to high-quality private medical facilities and medical treatments, at a time and place to suit you. It also plays an equally important role in helping fund the cost of early diagnosis and treatment of acute conditions. This could be anything from a few sessions of physiotherapy, to more complex procedures such as major heart surgery or biological therapy for the treatment of cancer.

What does health insurance cover?

Private medical insurance is designed to cover the cost of private medical treatment for acute conditions. An acute condition is a disease, illness or injury that is likely to respond quickly to treatment and return someone to the state of health they were in before, or lead to a full recovery.

It doesn’t usually cover treatment of long-term (chronic) conditions, where the main aim is to keep the symptoms under control – these are still treated within the NHS. Private medical insurance also won’t cover any pre-existing conditions that you may have when taking out a plan.

How does private medical insurance work?

For the majority of claims, medical treatment begins with a GP referral for specialist treatment. This can either be your NHS GP or a private GP. Any onward treatment is managed by working closely with your private medical insurer, to ensure that you have quick and easy access to the right medical treatment.

How is private medical insurance different from the NHS?

Private medical insurance is designed to work alongside all the services offered by the NHS, but focuses on providing quicker access to treatment for acute medical conditions. PMI members can still use all services offered by the NHS. But with pressures on the NHS to meet healthcare demands growing rapidly, compounded by increasingly stretched resources, PMI can play a complementary role.


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Why choose VitalityHealth?

VitalityHealth offers better care, in the form of award-winning Private Medical Insurance. It also puts an equal focus on better health, by helping you stay healthy. This combination of bringing the two together into one truly integrated offering is the real power of Vitality. As you benefit from better health, it enables us to share some of the insurance savings that emerge in the form of better product benefits and incentives – fuelling a virtuous cycle.

What is an insurance premium?

It’s what you pay in order to be covered by a plan – e.g. health insurance. You’ll normally pay for your insurance premium by monthly or annual direct debit. Your premium is reviewed once a year and changes depending on your age, your Vitality status, if you make a claim and medical inflation.

What is an excess in health insurance?

As in home insurance, for example, the excess in health insurance is a contribution you agree to make towards any claims. The larger the excess you agree to, the lower your premiums will be. Some insurers ask for you to pay the excess after each claim, while others ask you to pay it on the first claim in any plan year only, regardless of the number of claims you make.

Can I get private health insurance with a pre-existing condition?

Private medical insurance doesn’t normally cover pre-existing conditions, but you can still take out cover for conditions that may affect you in future.

What isn’t covered with private health insurance?

It doesn’t usually cover treatment of long-term (chronic) conditions, where the main aim is to keep the symptoms under control – that would make premiums much more expensive. Private medical insurance also won’t cover any pre-existing conditions you may have when you take out a plan.

There are some standard treatments and conditions that we don’t cover. These are:
• Any regular monitoring or treatment of long- term (chronic) conditions, like diabetes or allergies
• Any treatment you receive outside the UK
• Emergency treatment or visits to your NHS GP
• Pregnancy, childbirth and most related conditions
• Cosmetic treatment
• Organ transplants
• Any treatments or practices that are experimental, unproven or unregistered
• Any treatment for learning difficulties, delayed speech disorders and other developmental problems

For full details on what’s covered in your plan, check your welcome pack or our terms and conditions.

What should I look out for when buying private health insurance?

  • Waiting Lists– Private Medical Insurance takes away the uncertainty of NHS waiting lists, by giving you access to the very best medical care, at a time and place that suits you.• Fast Diagnostic Tests – With waiting times being a major cause of anxiety in many health events, Private Medical Insurance offers the reassurance of a quick and full diagnosis. However, you’ll need to make sure the plan you choose includes Out-patient Cover.• Choice Of Hospital – PMI offers easy access to hundreds of private hospitals in the UK, as well as the freedom for you to choose where and when you’re treated.

    • Drugs & Treatment – PMI provides access to a wider range of drugs and treatment, including those which might not yet be approved for use or paid for by the NHS.

    • Choice Of Consultant – PMI gives you the freedom to choose a consultant for a specific claim.

    • Privacy – Private healthcare offers you the comfort and privacy of your own room in a nationwide network of private hospitals,with no worries about shared wards.

Do I need a medical examination before I take out health insurance?

If you have no pre-existing conditions when you join, there’s no need. Just pick your level of cover and answer some basic questions about your medical history.
If you do have a pre-existing condition, we may need to ask you more questions about your health, or contact your GP. We’ll always tell you if that’s the case.
Call us and we’ll let you know if we need any more information before giving you a quote.


Want to know more?

Call us for a friendly chat on 0203 994 7560 or email: